Just hours after Thunder hurler Deivi Garcia was named an Eastern League all-star and the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, the 20-year old right-hander combined with relievers Domingo Acevedo and Daniel Alvarez to toss the fourth nine-inning no-hitter in Thunder franchise history in a historic 7-0 victory over the Reading Fightin Phils on Monday night at ARM & HAMMER Park.
After striking out 15 batters and allowing just one hit over six shutout innings against Richmond on June 18, Garcia continued his torrid stretch by striking out nine and allowing only two walks over five hitless innings.
Over his last two starts, Garcia has tossed 11 scoreless innings and has yielded just one hit and three walks while striking out 24 batters over that stretch. Of the 119 strikes that Garcia has thrown in that span, he has generated a swing-and-miss on 41 of them (35%).
“I’ve never seen anything like it, said Thunder Manager Pat Osborn of the dominant stretch that Garcia is carrying. “I commented when he was getting moved up that he may dominate here and he has.”
Osborn added, “He is just a gifted young kid with a great feel for pitching; great stuff and he competes like no other. He has everything that you want in a young starting pitcher, and we’re lucky to have him.”
Slugging first baseman Chris Gittens, who was also named an EL all-star on Monday, cranked a two-run homer over the right centerfield wall, his team-high 12th of the year, to give Trenton and Garcia an early 2-0 cushion.
Osborn pulled Garcia at the 92-pitch mark and the team clinging to a 4-0 advantage.
“I came into these last two starts as if I was turning to a new page to begin the second half with a clean slate and just wanted to get better,” said Garcia
Reliever Domingo Acevedo fanned two batters over two scoreless frames before giving way to all-star closer Daniel Alvarez.
“I was very excited for this game, admitted Acevedo. “I said to the manager that I want to have a copy of the lineup card.”
After working a clean eighth inning, Alvarez issued a one-out walk to Derek Hall who eventually made it safely to second base after beating out a throw by second baseman Hoy Jun Park on a fielders choice attempt with two outs in the ninth. Alvarez induced a fly ball off the bat of Arquimedes Gamboa to center field for the final out of the contest.
“I just went out there – I didn’t even know there was a no-hitter going on,” said Alvarez.” I just went out and did my job.”
Before Monday’s victory, the last Trenton no-hitter came on September 8, 2017, when Justus Sheffield and Taylor Widener combined to no-hit Binghamton in game three of the ELDS. The previous regular-season no-no came against New Hampshire on April 26, 2016, when Ronald Herrera and Jonathan Holder combined on the effort against New Hampshire.